Taliban rejects report about Hakimullah's death

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Islamabad, Jan.31 (ANI): The Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) has once again rejected reports regarding the death of its chief Hakimullah Mehsud, even as the Pakistan Army said it was still investigating reports which said the extremist chieftain was killed in a US drone attack earlier this month.

Speculation about the warlord's death first surfaced after a January 14 bombing by unmanned US spy planes in Taliban stronghold North Waziristan, but within days Mehsud released two audio statements denying those reports.

"Hakimullah is alive and safe. The purpose of stories regarding his death is to create differences among Taliban ranks, but such people will never succeed," a self-proclaimed TTP spokesman Azam Tariq told a foreign news agency over telephone.

"People who are saying that Hakimullah has died should provide proof of it-we have already proved that he is alive and we have provided two audio tapes of him to all the media," The News quoted Tariq, as saying.

When inquired about the issue, Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) chief Major General Athar Abbas said the security forces were still investigating the report surrounding Hakimullah's death.

"I don't have the confirmation, my sources have not confirmed it, whether he is dead or alive," Abbas said.

The TTP chief has died in the home of his father-in-law due to wounds sustained in a drone strike earlier this month, state run PTV earlier quoted local sources in Aurakzai tribal region, as saying. The channel also reported that Mehsud was buried in Mamoonzai area of Aurakzai Agency. (ANI)

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